Azusa Pacific is Still a Christian UniversityIf you ask Jim and Ethelyn Polley to describe Azusa Pacific University or to name the greatest strength of the university, their answer is the same: “APU is still a Christian University.”
They believe that many American universities that have a Christian origin have drifted from their original purpose, but APU has stood strong through the years with its motto of God First. This is the main reason the Polleys are supporting APU through charitable gift annuities.
Jim is a native Californian, and he met Ethelyn in her home city of Chicago during World War 11 on an Army Air Corps assignment to study electrical engineering. They are blessed with three children who have been successful in their careers, three grandchildren and one great grandchild. San Gabriel, California has been their home for more than 50 years.
Jim is a graduate of the School of Business at the University of Southern California, and he said that his career took many paths that he didn’t plan. He spent 28 years with the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, 2 years of which were as chief of the business branch.
Ethelyn worked in the field of education, assisting two professors at the University of Southern California and spending 18 years at San Marino High School as an administrative assistant. While at San Marino High School, Ethelyn was introduced to APU through a friend who was conducting a Bible study on the APU campus and an APU student.
Neither Jim nor Ethelyn came from a Christian home, but Ethelyn became active in the Lutheran Church at age 12. Jim gives credit to his children for talking him into going to church. Today the Polleys are active members in the Emmaus Lutheran Church in Alhambra, California, and are so grateful they know the Lord.
Even though neither of the Polleys nor any of their family members attended APU, they are impressed with the Christian environment, the joy of working with the Office of University Advancement staff, the outstanding nursing program and the personable and dynamic leadership of President Jon Wallace, DBA. They enjoy bringing friends to campus events and they are always impressed.
“Everything they do at APU is first class,” Jim and Ethelyn said.
They believe that their charitable gift annuity contribution is a great investment in the lives of students and is a way of giving back to the Lord while still providing an income for them. The Polleys want their gifts to be used for scholarships for students pursuing teaching and nursing careers.
Jim’s favorite chapter in the Bible is Ephesians 6, which speaks of putting on the armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ethelyn’s favorite is Psalm 100, which is a psalm of giving grateful praise. Yet, she says, the famous John 3:16 verse tells the whole story of the Christian life.